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Sendoff planned; SL soldiers head to Iraq

Monday, December 6, 2004

Local Guard members expect to support U.S. Central Command for 12 months, still 'Faithful, Formidable and Fiery'

The Department of Defense has announced that 10 Guardsmen from the Battalion Fire Support Element, 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery, Iowa Army National Guard, have been mobilized for federal active duty. This action is part of the United States' Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism.

This mobilization order affects approximately 10 soldiers based at the Storm Lake armory, with an effective active duty date anticipated for the beginning of 2005. Some members of this unit were previously deployed as part of Operation Noble Eagle in 2002.

Their mission will be the coordination of artillery and mortar fires, and close air support for combat units in a theater of operation.

These soldiers are ordered to active duty for 18 months. The new DOD mobilization policy will allow Guard and Reserve members to remain in the Central Command (CENTCOM) theater of operations for 12 months. The soldiers are expected to return home in about 15 months.

A sendoff will be held 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12 at the National Guard Armory in Storm Lake, with speakers including Congressman Steve King, Mayor Jon Kruse, and Brig. Gen. Michael Teaman. Lt. Col. Gregory Hapgood will open the event.

The National Anthem will follow, with an invocation by Chaplain Darrin Michell. Remarks will follow by Lt. Col. Matthew Pitstick, Col. Tim Orr, and the other dignitaries. The benediction will be offered by Chaplain Darrin Mitchell followed by the Army Song.

A public display of Storm Lake garrison combat vehicles will be held at the Storm Lake Hy-Vee parking lot from approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. Staff Sgt. Bob Carmichael said the display will include a cannon, Hummer, and several combat vehicles. Carmichael said the display is part of a public awareness campaign and not directly related to the Dec. 12 deployment.

The name of the soldiers being deployed are not being made public at this time, although some are expected to appear in the color guard for the Storm Lake Parade of Lights Monday evening.

This unit first deployed soldiers to the recent war in Iraq on Sept. 3, 2002 when the 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery was mobilized in support of Operation Noble Eagle II. The unit performed security missions at a chemical depot, an Army tank plant, and a multi-component base.

The battalion is direct support to the 2d Brigade (Air Assault) of the 34th Infantry Division and is organized under the "L" series MTOE with the M102, 105mm weapon system.

This detachment was mobilized under Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism. They will support the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) theater of operations. CENTCOM gives military support to 25 countries within their area of responsibility, which includes parts of Asia and Africa.

The battalion was formed on Feb. 26, 1943. Upon mobilization for World War II, the battalion received 8-inch howitzers. The original motto of the 1st Battalion 194th Field Artillery was "Faithful, Formidable, and Fiery!"

The 1st Battalion 194th Field Artillery has a rich and proud history with regards to its involvement in the Second World War All in all the battalion fired a total of 92,165 artillery rounds and its soldiers received numerous awards and decorations during World War II.

The battalion gave tactical support to units in Europe during the Korean War. It was activated Sept. 11, 1950. During August of 1951, the unit was alerted for EUCON (The European Theatre). Upon arrival in Germany in September of 1951, the 1-194 FA was assigned to the 18th Field Artillery Group, Seventh Army, V Corps.

Until 1968, the battalion was a 155 mm towed organization. In 1968, the unit was reorganized from the 155mm howitzers to the 105 mm towed howitzers (M101A1). The 194th was assigned a direct support mission to the 34th "Red Bull" brigade of the 47th Infantry Division (formerly the 34th Infantry Division). This mission later changed when the 47th Infantry Division reverted back to the designation of the historic 34th Infantry "RED BULL" Division.

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